Wednesday, June 29, 2011

U.S. War Costs Reach At Least $3.7 Trillion And Counting

U.S. War Costs Reach At Least $3.7 Trillion And Counting Reuters

"The final bill will run at least $3.7 trillion and could reach as high as $4.4 trillion, according to the research project "Costs of War" by Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies. ("

Click here for another story on this subject


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How Greed Destroys America

How Greed Destroys America by Robert Parry

Robert Parry has a pretty good handle on what went wrong with America. I'm quoting his article more then usual because it's worth it.

I have similar views, one I'd like to emphasize: the labels are killing us. Democrat, Republican, conservative, liberal, etc., etc. Giving credence - and votes - based on labels is vastly more dangerous then people who continue to use them realize. The trick is to take a label, any label, and subvert it until it no longer represents anything like the original idea. People who believe in labels think the democrats are different then the republicans, etc., but that's simply not true.

"If the “free-market” theories of Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman were correct, the United States of the last three decades should have experienced a golden age in which the lavish rewards flowing to the titans of industry would have transformed the society into a vibrant force for beneficial progress.


Ayn Rand became the darling of the American Right with her books, such as Atlas Shrugged, promoting the elitist notion that brilliant individuals represented the engine of society and that government efforts to lessen social inequality or help the average citizen were unjust and unwise.


Yet, while Rand and Friedman gave some intellectual heft to “free-market” theories, Ronald Reagan proved to be the perfect pied piper for guiding millions of working Americans in a happy dance toward their own serfdom


Ironically, the Reagan era came just as technology – much of it created by government-funded research – was on the cusp of creating extraordinary wealth that could have been shared with average Americans. Those benefits instead accrued to the top one or two percent.


The Rand/Friedman elitism also remains alive with today’s arguments from Republicans who protest the idea of raising taxes on businessmen and entrepreneurs because they are the ones who “create the jobs,” even if there is little evidence that they are actually creating American jobs.


In 2008, the last year for which data are available, for example, the top 0.1 percent of earners took in more than 10 percent of the personal income in the United States, including capital gains, and the top 1 percent took in more than 20 percent."


Monday, June 27, 2011

With the Gaza Aid Flotilla

With the Gaza Aid Flotilla by Joseph Dana

"Amid the economic and social upheaval of Greece’s beleaguered capital city, where demonstrators have been protesting government-imposed austerity measures, forty activists from across the United States began training this week to nonviolently confront the Israeli military blockade of Gaza. The Americans are part of a flotilla of ten ships—from France, Ireland, Canada, Norway, Greece, Sweden and other countries—planning to set out for Gaza’s main seaport in the next week to relieve the siege.


Israel has stated that it will enforce its naval blockade by any political, military and economic measures at its disposal.


“Israel has pulled out the stops in trying to get the flotilla to stop before it begins by threatening the Greek economy,“ said Ann Wright, a retired State Department official and former Army colonel who is the main organizer of the US boat to Gaza.


Despite the presence of former State Department official Wright and former CIA officer Ray McGovern, the US government has largely bowed to Israeli pressure over the flotilla. Issuing a rare maritime warning this week to American vessels traveling near Gaza, Washington has effectively distanced itself from offering protection to its citizens if they are attacked by Israel on the open sea. The import of the message is, “We warned you not to go.”

This is a very insightful story about power, isn't it?


Playing with Fire in a Cashless Society

Playing with Fire in a Cashless Society by Ben Parry

Beware the cashless society, as Ben Parry explains fairly well in this article.

"“Imagine what would happen if the government in Syria, North Korea, China, Libya, certain parts of the United States and maybe northern Ireland, whatever society you wish to look at, decides that it can push a button a stop somebody from having a transaction. They can already push a button and stop your master card in a moment’s notice, but can they actually push a button and stop you from buying bread? That’s what the cashless society will do. “

Edwin continues, “These are the Promethean issues that face us with the cashless society, which is merely the next step in a society which is controlled and mass controlled and centralized”."


Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Lie Behind the Afghan War

The Lie Behind the Afghan War By Robert Parry

"A recurring refrain about the Afghan War is that the United States must stay for the long haul now to avoid repeating the “mistake” made in 1989 when Soviet forces left and Americans supposedly disappeared, too. But this conventional wisdom, spread by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and others, is a lie, Robert Parry writes."

My own summation of Afghanistan is that when the military drawdown in Iraq occurred, the troops had to go somewhere. If they returned to the U.S., they would not have been sent back, so they were sent to Afghanistan to keep them "parked" for the next phase of the Zionist-heavy neocon's crusade to establish military authority in the Middle East for Israel's benefit.

NOBODY ever thought victory or anything like it is possible in Afghanistan, and NOBODY ever cared. The Afghanistan mission was never intended to accomplish anything other then to keep the American military in the area.

We don't know what the next phase of the neocon crusade will look like, simply because the catalyst that will drive it hasn't occurred yet.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

U.S. Gears Up for War Number Six

U.S. Gears Up for War Number Six by Doug Bandow

"The United States is broke. This year it is spending a record $3.8 trillion, 40 percent of which is being borrowed. The national debt, now over $14 trillion, could double over the next decade if serious budget economies are not made. However, a host of new expenses are likely: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue to lose money, the FDIC continues to close banks and the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation continues to accumulate liabilities. Worse, a realistic assessment of Social Security and Medicare reveals an unfunded liability of more than $100 trillion.


All this while America is spending more on the military than at any time since World War II. The United States accounts for almost half of the globe’s military outlays. In real terms “defense” expenditures have doubled over the last decade.


Of course, the United States could defeat the Syrian military. Though bombing alone might not be enough, unless it was far heavier and deadlier than that occurring in Libya. But the question is: “Then what?” That is the question which policy makers failed to ask and answer in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. Assume Assad is killed or deposed. Then what? Who rises to power? Who protects religious and ethnic minorities? Who creates liberal democracy? Who manages the religious divide among Sunni, Shia and Alawite? Who contains the unanticipated and inadvertent consequences of literally blowing up another country?"

Is Obama Only Postponing the Inevitable? by Patrick J. Buchanan
"But the people who should be indicted by history are not those who, after half a trillion dollars and a decade of bleeding, decided to cut America’s losses, but those who stampeded this country into two of the longest and least necessary wars in the history of the republic."

Excuse me, Pat. These people should be indicted by the justice system, not history.


Are We Giant Suckers?

See if you can correlate these three stories:

Are We Giant Suckers? While the US Blows Money on the Military, Europe Spends Dough on Social Programs By Joshua Holland

"It's not uncommon for American hawks to whine about those soft Europeans not shelling out enough dough on weapons systems. But let's take a look at what "defense" actually means in this context. ..."

Something Rotten This Way Comes by Philip Giraldi

"This is because Israel and its lobby in the United States have succeeded in so intertwining their interests with those of the United States that whenever Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sneezes four hundred congressmen say “Gesundheit!” What Israel does has consequences for every American citizen, and not only because Tel Aviv is the largest recipient of US economic and military assistance. It is indisputable that Israel and its friends in the White House and Defense Department played a major role in creating the lies and generating the momentum in the drive to war against Iraq in 2002, a conflict that continues to claim American casualties and which has left Iraq in ruins. Now the push is on to “do something” about Iran."

World War III Defined: Wider War Unfolding in Middle East by Infowars

"Alex Jones analyzes the more than nine years of expanding middle east conflict since 9/11, with the U.S. now engaging in 5 simultaneous proxy wars including Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan and Yemen. "


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Corporate Offshoring Has Ruined Income and Employment Prospects for America

Corporate Offshoring Has Ruined Income and Employment Prospects for America by Paul Craig Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts explains the effect of our economy having been moved offshore.

"... it is strictly impossible for an economy to be moved offshore and for the country with the offshored economy to remain prosperous.


Sir James called it correct, as did Roger Milliken. They predicted that the working and middle classes in the United States and Europe would be ruined by the greed of Wall Street and corporations, who would boost corporate earnings by replacing their domestic work forces with foreign labor, which could be paid a fraction of labor’s productivity as a result of the foreign country’s low living standard and large excess supply of labor. Anytime there is an excess supply of labor, or the ability of corporations to pay labor less than its productivity, the corporations bank the difference, share prices rise, and Wall Street and shareholders are happy."


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The root of America's largest problem: media disinformation

Pentagon Papers Whistleblower Ellsberg Says Government Has ORDERED the Media Not to Cover 9/11 by Washington’s Blog

I've been tracking and talking/writing about the problem America has with it's information supply (the so-called "mass media') for many years now, but with so little effect that I've stopped spending so much time writing about it. It seems nobody wants to hear it. But I wouldn't be discouraged because I know I've been right all along. Now I'm reading material by people who are much better writers then I are, and passing their work along in an effort to do something other then shut up without expending so many hours.

"The Pulitzer prize-winning reporter who uncovered the Iraq prison torture scandal and the Mai Lai massacre in Vietnam, Seymour Hersh, said:

“All of the institutions we thought would protect us — particularly the press, but also the military, the bureaucracy, the Congress — they have failed. The courts . . . the jury’s not in yet on the courts. So all the things that we expect would normally carry us through didn’t. The biggest failure, I would argue, is the press, because that’s the most glaring….Q: What can be done to fix the (media) situation?

[Long pause] You’d have to fire or execute ninety percent of the editors and executives. You’d actually have to start promoting people from the newsrooms to be editors who you didn’t think you could control. And they’re not going to do that.” "


"Veteran reporter Bill Moyers criticized the corporate media for parroting the obviously false link between 9/11 and Iraq (and the false claims that Iraq possessed WMDs) which the administration made in the run up to the Iraq war, and concluded that the false information was not challenged because:

“the [mainstream] media had been cheerleaders for the White House from the beginning and were simply continuing to rally the public behind the President — no questions asked.” "

Forget China, Americans Have Had All Their Communications Bugged For 20 Years by Paul Joseph Watson

"Outrage over the revelation that Chinese authorities have been installing spying devices on all dual-plate Chinese-Hong Kong vehicles is nothing compared to the fact that Americans and European have had all their communications tracked for at least two decades."